Consumer and Patient Marketing

Using Marketing to Drive Revenue and Support Better Patient Outcomes

Consumer and patient marketing spans a wide range of promotional approaches, including disease awareness advertising, direct-to-consumer (DTC) branded promotion, and ongoing condition management support for patients taking a particular therapy. Developing and implementing the right combination of consumer and patient marketing tactics is critical to achieving key business objectives for pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device manufacturers.

Over the past several years, important shifts in the consumer health market have presented both challenges and opportunities to health care marketers. Consumer and patient health needs are increasing as more patients come into the market armed with greater information and bearing a larger portion of the cost burden:

  • The Affordable Care Act adds millions of consumers with diverse health care needs and levels of health care literacy to the market.
  • An aging population adds more seniors, with increased health care needs, to the population every year.
  • Consumers shoulder a larger portion of their health care costs as more employers adopt high-deductible health care plans, and out-of-pocket limits increase.
  • The Internet, smartphone apps and other digital media offer consumers access to a vast array of health information and tools, which they often consult first when addressing health issues.

At the same time, pharmaceutical companies face shifting industry realities, including:

  • Loss of exclusivity of many blockbuster brands in broad, lifestyle-related categories and the need to manage and market late lifecycle brands to maximize revenue before patents expire.
  • The push for new molecules increasingly focused on highly targeted patient segments within larger categories or that serve very small populations.
  • Newly launched brands that must create a strong value proposition when entering categories that have multiple generic competitors already in the market.
  • More stakeholders competing for health care consumers’ attention—including payers, providers, pharmacies, and private industry.

Adding complexity to these changes is a continuing policy emphasis on health outcomes as the end goal, shifting physician, provider, and payer incentives. The result makes sustaining patients’ behavior change a more important driver of success than their adherence to a single drug therapy.

As marketers address these challenges, ZS identifies initiatives that offer a win-win opportunity: those that drive brand results and improve patient health outcomes.  By combining analytics to look at what is happening in the marketplace with qualitative research and insights into why it is happening, ZS helps clients create smart and innovative marketing strategies to succeed in this rapidly changing environment.

Integrate the Consumer’s Perspective into the Marketing Strategy Planning Process

Understanding the journey consumers and patients take to address a health problem is paramount to any effective strategy. However, not all journeys are the same. Managing a chronic, lifestyle-related condition is very different than responding to a life-threatening disease requiring immediate action. ZS believes that to successfully develop the right marketing strategy, life sciences companies must intimately understand how consumers experience living with a disease or a condition and how they make decisions. Then we can apply that understanding to develop a strong value proposition for both the brand and the consumer at each stage of that journey.

Key elements of our services include:

  1. Use analytics and insight to understand the journey. Strategy starts with developing a deep understanding of the patient population—the differences between key patient segments —and uncovering insights at key moments along the consumer’s journey. Our secondary data analytics capabilities are complemented by our Qualitative Expertise Center to construct a comprehensive picture of the consumer experience and the important decisions they make.
  2. Formulate the marketing strategy. Setting a successful strategy requires first identifying the key decisions or behavior in the journey the brand is trying to influence. Using research and design thinking techniques, we help brands determine which areas of investment are most likely to spur consumers and patients to take action and drive results.
  3. Define the messages. Using customized research into consumer preferences combined with analytics on historical response, we provide insights to guide brand messaging – bringing the right information to each consumer or patient at the right time.
  4. Identify the right channel mix. Mapping the ways in which consumers and patients access information – the media they use, the sources they value, and the key times they need help – enables us to help clients determine the optimal mix of channels to deliver the most value at each point in the journey.
  5. Implement and optimize. We partner with our clients’ creative agencies to ensure that the implementation remains true to the strategic intent, often providing program management support along the way. We track performance back to the client’s business objectives and provide regular reporting that allows us to refine the strategy over time and ensure the marketing campaigns deliver results.

Why Turn to ZS for Consumer and Patient Marketing

ZS has an unflinching dedication to finding the right, actionable solution to deliver business impact. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies turn to us because they know our solutions can be implemented in the context of their organization and partner networks. ZS will work with you to create superior consumer and patient marketing solutions that deliver impact where it matters most.

  • Patient Marketing Expertise: ZS has deep experience across all elements of consumer and patient marketing strategy-- planning, execution and measurement, including new product launches, disease awareness, direct-to-consumer promotions, CRM programs to support conversion and adherence, digital strategy, and patient support services planning and development.
  • Therapeutic and Brand Knowledge: We have a team of physicians and other medical specialists with expertise in hundreds of therapeutic categories and disease states, including highly targeted categories with very small patient populations as well as broad, lifestyle-based conditions. These experts are not only conversant in medical and pharmacology knowledge, but also are source of insight into the consumer experience.
  • Integration across Sales and Marketing: Our historic strength in sales and marketing allows us to ensure that consumer and patient marketing programs align with health care professional campaigns and are integrated with sales strategy. We also help brands identify the right balance of investment across stakeholders to drive results most cost-effectively.
  • Strong Research and Analytics Capabilities: ZS brings specialists who apply a wide range of qualitative and quantitative research and analytics techniques to develop insights and drive recommendations. ZS transforms research, data and insights into actionable recommendations designed to drive revenue and profitability.
  • Ability to Add Strategic Insight: Although we strive to ensure a strong rationale behind every solution, not every problem can be solved with analytics and approaches that have been implemented before. We leverage design thinking, co-creation, and guided creative exercises to create new and innovative solutions that meet the needs of this rapidly changing industry.